MAC makes very good knives, and the MAC Pro series is especially good for people looking for their first high quality Japanese knives to do western style cooking. However, they are not "hefty," in anywhere near the way any of the good, forged German knives are. Their advantages lie elsewhere -- one of them being their lightness. We can talk more about them later, if you like.
Any good block will hold all of the knives you're lucky you want. You don't need a Henckels block to hold Henckels or a Wusthof block to hold Wusthofs.
The first thing to do is to figure out which knives you're going to need, and how you're going to sharpening them. Storage is easy. The most popular good solutions in a home kitchen are a block, a knife holding insert for a drawer, and/or a magnetized bar.
The "basic set" for a good home cook, serious about knives, is chef's, slicer, bread and petty/parer. Of these, you can most easily put off buying the slicer -- but when and if you do buy, you should buy quality. You can skimp on the bread, and on the parer. But I suggest getting a good petty instead of a parer; or, if you must have a parer than a good petty and a very cheap parer.
One of the lessons to take is that knives can be "mix and match." You don't gain anything buying a single line or limiting yourself to one manufacturer.
There are a few qualities which really determine the character of the knife. The most important are, shape of the kinfe, which is called its "profile;" the sharpening and maintenance qualities of its blade alloy and construction; and the comfort of its handle.
Things like "balance" and "heft," which seem very important to novice buyers are far down the list.
As to balance, unless it's done intentionally like Global or Gude/Viking, longer knives are blade heavy compared to shorter knives. Vikings have a heavy weight at the end of the handle in order to make them consistently handle-heavy. While most Globals are made with hollow handles which can be filled with sand, in order to give them a neutral balance.
For other western handled knives, the actual balance point may vary depending on the type of the tang; but depending on the presence or absence of a bolster and on their length, most full-tang knives have similar balance points relative to where the handle joins the knife. For instance, a 10" (254mm) Wusthof, 10" Sabatier au carbone, a 24cm MAC Pro, a 27cm MAC Pro, a 27cm Masamoto HC, and a 24cm Masamoto HC will all balance very close to where the blade hits the bolster. The 24cm knives' balance points will be slightly closer to the handle than the 27cm knives; at about the same place as the European knives whose full finger-guard bolsters move the bp back slightly -- but all of the balance points will cover the "pinch point." The difference, such as it is, being to which side they shade it. In other words, they're all fairly neutral.
Heft (aka weight) feels solid, well built and expensive in the store. But for most purposes, with use and time, it's just another obstacle. As with most tools, everything else being equal, lighter is better.
Then, there's the very important matter of how you will keep your new knives sharp. All knives get dull eventually and no matter how much better than its competitors a particular knife is when it gets sharp -- all dull knives are equal. It's foolish to spend money on knives you can't or won't keep as sharp as they should be.
So far I've skipped over the two areas which I said were most importnat. Profile and edge qualities.
German knives have a "German profile," which means there's a lot of width between the spine and the heel, plenty of arc along the blade as it approaches the belly, and a deep, rounded belly. Japanese knives are typically built along a modified "French profile." The back of the knife is narrower, the edge straighter, and less belly as the edge approaches the tip. German knives are heavier and more powerful. French knives are lighter and more agile. Most, but by no means all, good knife technicians prefer a French profile.
Japanese modifications to French profile consist of delaying the drop to the tip along the spine (top of the knife) -- as opposed to the typical French "spear point -- which is very common; and a still flatter edge profile -- reminiscent of the usuba, a traditional Japanese chopping knife -- which isn't exactly unusual but not nearly as common.
The various alloys used by Japanese knife manufacturers for their "better" knives are far superior to the single alloy (X50CrMoV15) which, with a few minor variations, all the Germans use. Remember that I said German profile knives are more "powerful" than French? Well, sharp beats power (nearly) every time; and Japanese knives get significantly sharper and stay sharp longer.
There are important issues regarding price, service, availability, etc., which are unique to the UK, or at least Europe. I'm afraid I can't give you much practical insight other than by repeating what I've heard from other Brits.
That's a lot to think about right off the bat. Why not come up with some more questions, more specific if possible, and we'll start breaking this down in a way which makes the most sense for your individual situation.